Adventure Cruises in Baja California
A Baja California cruise will sail you into a world of blue seas, golden cliffs, and majestic wildlife. Baja’s position between the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean makes it uniquely suited to a wide range of sights and activities. On cruises to Baja California, you’ll go beaching, snorkeling, kayaking, mule riding, and hiking- and don’t forget the whales, sharks, dolphins, and sea lions that make Baja a world-class marine wildlife destination.
Top things to do and see in Baja California
Sea of Cortez - Every Mexico cruise visits this UNESCO World Heritage Site, the star “aquarium” of Baja California. Thanks to the Colorado River, there are plenty of nutrients in the water to feed plankton, which are the base of the marine food chain. Species biodiversity in the Sea of Cortez is high, with more than twenty kinds of cetaceans and the charismatic Whale Sharks and Manta Rays.
Loreto Bay Marine Park - Mexico boat cruises to this national park are rewarded with breathtaking white sand beaches, the chance to kayak among islands with a range of terrestrial animals (bighorn sheep, birdlife) and abandoned human-made ruins, diving opportunities, sea lion colonies, and whales. Loreto Bay boasts a high number of endemic species (animals and plants which exist nowhere else).
Bahia Magdalena - Cruises to Baja California visit this Pacific location from January through March for a magnificent sight: California Gray Whales and their young. These enormous cetaceans travel 12,000 miles from Alaska to reach Bahia Magdalena’s sheltered calving grounds. In this bay, a mix of warm and cool ocean waters nurtures a wealth of other marine life as well.
Bahia Agua Verde - Baja cruises let you disembark often to experience the peninsula’s charming culture and rugged landscape, and at Bahia Agua Verde, you can add traditional mule riding to the mix! Local guides from the small fishing village of Puerto Agua Verde take you and your steed up into the Sierra de la Giganta mountain range for perfect views of turquoise water, red rock, and green cacti.
Ensenada Grande - Just north of La Paz lies Isla Partida, whose main draw is the area known as Ensenada Grande. Sea of Cortez cruises visit Ensenada Grande for its famous beach, rated one of the top twelve beaches in the world! Ensenada Grande also offers plenty of marine wildlife with which to snorkel, and scenic arroyos for trekking.
Isla Espiritu Santo - Espiritu Santo’s secluded coves are separated by long fingers of red rock; the indented shoreline is perfect for kayakers who want the feeling of exploring pristine territory. Hiking on this island lets you see Brown Pelicans, Great Blue Herons, Blue-Footed Boobies, and other special birds. In Bahia de la Paz between Espiritu Santo and the mainland, swimming with Whale Sharks from November-mid January makes unforgettable memories.
Los Islotes - This rocky outcrop off Isla Espiritu Santo is famous for its resident sea lion colony, which can be observed by boat. Your adventure cruise will also make sure you get the chance to snorkel with the playful sea lion pups and observe a rainbow of fish life.
Isla San Francisco - This Sea of Cortez island boasts a long, crescent-shaped bay with plenty of opportunities to snorkel with octopus, rays, eels, and colorful fish. Pelicans and other birdlife sit sentinel along the coastline’s rocky cliffs. When in bloom, the crimson flowers of the local cacti offer a great color foil to the blue sky in your photographs.
Cabo Pulmo - In the southern reaches of Baja California, the Cabo Pulmo National Park offers a prime example of a successful conservation effort. You’ll see the results of local conservation passion in the reef when you SCUBA dive amongst healthy red sea fans and large schools of fish. You can also see Humpback Whales in this area.
Hike, kayak, paddle-board, and explore by skiff - Mexico boat cruises take advantage of Baja’s easy ocean-mountain access; it allows them to offer itineraries that are packed with activity options. The rocky, golden arroyos of Baja’s mountain range are perfect for relaxed hikes or mule rides to incredible panoramic views. Baja’s many protected bays are the perfect place to experience solo- and small-craft boating, since the water is calm, and the coastline is varied and fun to explore.
Wildlife - Large marine animals really give Baja California its claim to fame. When you combine the species in the Gulf of California and the species in the Pacific waters off Baja’s west coast, you’ve got the following all-star list: Blue Whales, Gray Whales, Humpback Whales, Sperm Whales, Fin Whales, Orcas, Common and Bottlenose Dolphins, Pilot Whales, Whale Sharks, sea lions, and leaping manta and mobula rays.
Baja - La Paz, Loreto, Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo - The cities of Baja California each have their own personality and attractions. The busiest tourist destination is Cabo San Lucas, a resort metropolis which was little more than a fishing town a couple decades ago. The two Cabos are in the south next to the international airport. Loreto and La Paz lie farther north along the Gulf of California.
Top Tips for visiting Baja California on a cruise
- Don’t forget your camera and binoculars for the incredible sunsets and far-off whale or bird sightings.
- Bring rash guards and water shoes for marine activities.
- We also recommend bringing your own mask and snorkel, since rental gear doesn’t always fit every face.
- Good walking shoes and quick-dry clothing (and a hat!) will make the land-based activities much more comfortable.
Best time to cruise Baja California
Baja cruises run from November through March. Plan ahead to make sure you get to see the wildlife you love. The best time to take a Baja California Cruise for Gray Whales is January-mid March. For Whale Sharks, it’s November-mid January. Humpbacks are plentiful December-mid March. Blue and Sperm Whales are plentiful in November, and Sperm Whales come back in force from February-March.
Where do Baja California cruises depart from?
Most Mexico small ship cruises to the Sea of Cortez depart from La Paz or San Jose del Cabo. Regardless, the most-used international airport is Los Cabos on the peninsula’s southern tip, a 45-minute drive from the city of San Jose del Cabo. Los Cabos receives regular international flights on Mexican and North American airlines. Even if your Baja adventure cruise is set to depart from La Paz, you may be met in San Jose del Cabo and driven overland to the port of departure.
Book your next adventure cruise to the Sea Of Cortez, Mexico today. Contact our reservations team.